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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Foam Flowers for the Moms; Teamwork is essential in church planting

Cleaning the Church on Saturday
"We need to make more flowers," Sandra told me after I greeted her with a cheek kiss.  It's Sunday morning at IPU, and it's Mother's Day. 

The high school youth group will sing a special song and then the younger children will give their mothers the foam flowers they made yesterday during Club Feliz.  There are a couple of extra ones for the mothers who don't have children attending the program, but Sandra did the math and figured we needed more.

So, I finish setting up the AV equipment in the sanctuary and sit down in the kitchen with Andrea to hold the cut out petals over a candle flame to soften them and shape them, freeing Pastor Rolim and Sandra to attend to other tasks.  (I don't mind working on a craft that requires an open flame)

Mark is making sure the music for worship is organized and Sabrina is getting out the piano music to rehearse with the youth group. Pastor Mauricio uploads a video presentation of the lyrics to project on the wall. Carlitos is making coffee and getting out the cups, napkins, sugar, punch and cookies.  While I make the flowers, I'm thinking about the Sunday School lesson I'll be teaching, and talking with Andrea about a misunderstanding with another local missionary team the day before.

Two women from the church, Joshua, and Sabrina
prepare stroganoff for a church event
Many of you know the demands of church planting.  Our core team is composed of six people, with only Pastor Rolim working full time.  (Mark will be soon dedicated to full time ministry when language training ends this fall).

We barely have enough people to rotate responsibilities so a list of tasks like setting up refreshments, teaching a children's ministry, washing church kitchen towels and throw rugs, playing guitar for worship, hosting an activity in one's home, and staffing the nursery could easily fall to just one person on the team over the weekend.  (I'm thinking about Sandra!).

We praise God that this team is growing with the addition of new families and young people who are working along side of us.  We have plenty of willing and able hands to help.  Our prayer is that in His timing, this church's leadership will be completely Uruguayan!

I am glad to contribute by teaching Sunday School, although I need to use all of the teaching tricks I know to supplement my limited Spanish.  This morning one of my very active students illustrated the lesson as I taught.  She is very perceptive and artistic so her sketches help me to know if I'm communicating well. It also keeps her mind, heart, and hands engaged. 

Recently I had a problem with a student who was giggling and talking during our opening prayer.  So this week we discussed the attributes of God before we closed our eyes and folded our hands. It worked!  Context was what the child needed instead of a reprimand.

Before I get out of bed on Sunday mornings, I pray for a servant's heart.  Praise God that I can walk into church and smile, ready to hold foam over a flame if that's what needs to be done!  The beautiful bouquet on the table near the pulpit looked wonderful.  What a great idea, Sandra!  After a long morning of ministry, Pastor Rolim locked the front doors and said, "The morning went really well."

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